The 8th Hintze Lecture by Professor David Charbonneau looking at investigating habitable exoplanets.
The investigation of planets orbiting other stars has moved from the study of gas giants to the hunt for smaller planets that are predominantly rock and ice in composition. When such Planets are discovered in edge-on orbits, such that the planet and star undergo mutual eclipses, scientists granted the opportunity to determine directly the planetary masses and sizes. Most interestingly, we can study starlight filtered through the planetary atmosphere to deduce its chemical composition, and perhaps even search for biosignatures. The speaker will summarize the most recent results from the NASA Kepler Mission and describe two surveys intended to find the closest